Rebecca Rose, whose husband has been acting aloof, is tempted by the attentions of a former celebrity f lame; Marco Goldstein, saddled with two kids when his husband, Todd, is away on business, turns to anonymous sex for comfort; Danny Gottlieb, a screenwriter on the cusp of a big break, leaves his wife and children to pitch a film (and meet young women) in Los Angeles; fallen sanctimommy Karen Bryan Shapiro, devastated by her husband’s infidelity and abandonment, attempts a fresh start with a hot single dad; and former A-list actress Melora Leigh plots a star turn on Broadway to revive her Hollywood career. As their stories intersect in surprising ways and their deceptions spiral out of control, they begin to question their beliefs about family, happiness, and themselves.
Equal parts moving and richly entertaining, Motherland is a fresh take on modern marriage that confirms Amy Sohn as one of our most insightful commentators on relationships and parenting in America today.
The book is well-written, and when I read that the author is also a screenwriter, I could see that in the book. It’s feels like you are watching it while reading. And also, the book is so very New York. I had to dig deeper and the author actually lives in the area in the book. It feels real, like you are sitting there watching the Park Slope mums take over the neighborhood.
Anyway, on to the review. At first, all the Povs seemed daunting, but Sohn saved me by giving the chapters the title of the character in question. We have Rebecca, who has secrets, Marco who does not want a second kid but he boyfriend does not take no for an answer, Danny who is tired of domestic life (but then most in this book are), Karen, a newly single mum who wants to date again, and Melora, an A-list actress trying to make it on Broadway. Some of these people are friends, and some come together later on. So yes there are a lot of POVS, but it works, sure I mistook someone now and then, because they are all so alike. Bad sex lives, kids running amok, and wanting more from life. But I got there.
The book is rather depressing when I think about it. No one is happy. There is quiet drama and self doubting, jealousy and affairs. It makes me wonder if anyone can ever be happy being married and having kids. See, I told you it was a bit depressing. But that makes it real, people argue, they do not have time for sex, and there are to many things to juggle in life. And then things go to hell.
At one time I wondered if I even liked the book. I knew the writing was terrific, but did I like it? That question bothered me for a while, since nothing was wrong with the book, but later on I did come to a conclusion, I liked the book. Maybe it was the satire, and namedropping that did it.
Eh,I guess it fits
To be Published: August 14th 2012 by Simon and Schuster